Can you believe the year is halfway through? It’s a good time for us to pause, reflect on how the year is coming along, remind ourselves of our goals that we set for the year, and see if there is anything we can work on doing better in the second half as our finance committees support our church and its ministries. Have the monthly reports to the finance committee members been sent regularly? Is the church financially where you expected to be mid-year compared to budget? Was last year’s local church audit completed and a copy sent to your District Office? Have you checked the Apportionments section of our Conference website to see where your church is on the Percentage Paid Report?

Just some questions to think about…If you have any finance-related questions or suggestions please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are here to serve!

Tamara Wims
Conference Treasurer & Director of Administration

We are now using the Ezra website (same website as used for submitting statistics) to accept apportionment and advance project giving. The apportionment payment website that we used in the past is outdated and will no longer be supported by Vanco. Each church has one log in and password to Ezra. Lisa Adler will be working hard to get all of our churches transitioned over to the new website! Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions or need help getting into Ezra.

On June 17th, the members of the Wisconsin Annual Conference approved the 2019 budget that was proposed by the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA). The total budget is $6,783,839, a decrease of $248,000 from 2018. This budget includes funds allocated to five ministry areas and is supported by all of our local United Methodist Churches in Wisconsin. This is OUR BUDGET as a Conference. In August the Pastor and Church Treasurer will receive the 2019 apportionment amount for your church. Thank you for your faithful giving to support our shared ministry together!

Have you heard of UMC Market? It is a way for people to shop online, enjoy savings, and also support their local United Methodist Church. After following a few simple steps, you can register, designate the church or UM group you want to support, and shop. Just another way to donate to your local church.

Click here to shop and please share with your members who may be interested.

Our Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) has four tactics to achieve our goal of supporting local churches and getting every church to participate in Connectional Giving at 100% or more: (1) Educate Churches on Connectional Giving; (2) Provide Training to Local Church Finance Officers; (3) Identify New Funding Sources for Local Churches; and (4) Evaluate Current Apportionment Formula.

Focusing on tactic #3, we have started a section of our website where we will list grants. And you are welcome to email me if you have come across any that you would like to share.

The term used to describe the amount that each United Methodist congregation is asked to contribute to the wider United Methodist Church in support of our mission and ministries around the world. In other words, it is A Portion Meant for Others. I like to frequently use the term Connectional Giving because our giving is an outward and visible sign of the connection within the UMC.

Does your finance committee prepare a narrative budget each year? The line by line numerical budget may not be helpful or understandable by some members of our congregations. Graphs, pictures and descriptions might be another way to share how the church budget supports various missions and ministries of your church. Click here for a sample narrative budget and consider attending the webinar listed below along with me to learn more!

Click here to view all of the opportunities for finance-related trainings!

  • Share a Budget That Tells a Story - September 13th Webinar
  • Church Finance Training - September 15th in Eau Claire
  • Church Finance Training - October 27th in Rhinelander

On June 17th, the members of the Wisconsin Annual Conference approved the 2019 budget that was proposed by the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA). The 2019 Budget includes funds allocated as follows:

From August to October 2017, the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) conducted a survey for the purpose of receiving feedback on the apportionment formula and gathering information on what ministry areas are important to our Local Church Leadership. The surveys were either emailed or mailed to the Pastors, Lay Leaders, Council Chairs, Finance Committee Chairs and Treasurers in our Conference database.

Greetings!

Since our last FINANCE NEWS, we have had some changes in our Finance Office. In March, we welcomed Jason Rasa as our new Accountant! And now we are introducing a different website for churches to pay apportionments (more info below). For those of you who were wondering about the 2017 Apportionment Tags, they will be mailed this week to churches who paid 100% of the apportionment covenant. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions or suggestions for future issues of this e-newsletter.

Tamara Wims
Conference Treasurer & Director of Administration

Greetings!

On a quarterly basis, I plan to send a Summary Budget Report to the members of our Annual Conference. This is an effort to report back to those who voted and approved this budget and update you on our Conference Finances. Our Council on Finance and Administration (CFA), led by Chair This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., is committed to Clarity/Transparency, Fairness/Justice, and Accountability. Year-to-date reports will also be available in the Finance Office section of our website under Conference Budget.

Our Conference Finance Office thanks you for bearing with us through this busy time of year. On top of the expected “extra work” during the beginning of each year, we had some unexpected things happen. One finance staff person was out sick for two weeks and another staff person has accepted a position with UW Madison (Congrats again Tou Kou!!!). Due to these circumstances, the February apportionment statements were just mailed this past week and we are actively seeking an Accountant for our office (click here if you or someone you know is interested). We hope you enjoy this issue of Finance News. Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions or suggestions for future issues.

Bi-Annual Property Tax Exemption Form Due

You should have received a reminder from your local taxing authority to file the property tax exemption form with the State of Wisconsin. If the form is not completed by the deadline, your church will be assessed a property tax. So it is very important that you complete and submit the form to your local taxing authority before March 31st.

Fund Balance Report

Each church needs to submit the 2017 Fund Balance Report to the District Office by April 15th. The form is available on the web link that was sent to the Pastor for accessing the charge/church conference forms. If you have any questions about the report, please contact your District Office.

The pastor plays an important role in the church finances. Not only is s/he a member of the Finance Committee, but the 2016 General Conference added the following duty in the Book of Discipline for elders and licensed pastors:

“To provide leadership for the funding ministry of the congregation. To ensure membership care including compliance with charitable giving documentation requirements and to provide appropriate pastoral care, the pastor, in cooperation with the financial secretary, shall have access to and responsibility for professional stewardship of congregational giving records” (¶340.2.C.2.C.).

The financial secretary has one of the most important and sensitive offices in the church. This person has the responsibility for supervising the offering count, promptly depositing cash from offerings, and keeping records of contributions. The financial secretary should work with the pastor by providing reports as requested, notifying the pastor of any significant changes in giving, and keeping the pastor informed of how the church is complying with charitable giving requirements.